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Survey: Consumers reducing summer spend

Consumers will carefully allocate their spending for summer 2022.

Inflation is not halting consumers’ summer spending plans, but is definitely influencing them.

According to data from RetailMeNot, six in 10 (61%) surveyed consumers say they are likely to reduce spending this summer due to inflation. Respondents cited these spending categories as areas they plan to cut back:

  • Dining out: 69%.
  • Personal shopping: 61%.
  • Entertainment: 54%.
  • Travel: 42%.
  • Subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, etc.): 34%. 

Here are the percentages of consumers who agreed with the following reasons for reducing summer spending:

  • I am concerned about increasing prices: 81%. 
  • I feel like summer months are expensive: 64%. 
  • I feel overwhelmed with the costs I’ll be facing between May to July: 53%. 

In addition, 60% of respondents say they expect a lot of deals, promotions and sales this summer.

Consumers prioritize travel, events
Although more than four in 10 respondents indicated they plan to cut back on summer travel spending, travel and events are still two primary areas surveyed consumers intend to spend during the upcoming summer months. Nine in 10 respondents plan to attend one to five gatherings this summer, with 70% attending traditional summer celebrations like Father’s Day and graduations. 

Despite travel enthusiasm, more than half of respondents say they plan to spend no more than $500 on travel between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2022:

  • $500 or less: 53%.
  • $501 to $1,000: 21%.
  • $1,001 to $1,500: 13%.
  • More than $1,500: 10%.
  • Don’t know: 3%.

Popular travel plans include:

  • Go to the beach: 47%.
  • Go shopping: 36%.
  • Camp: 30%.
  • Attend a wedding (27%).
  • Do adventurous activities: 27%.
  • Go to an amusement park: 26%.

NRF: Consumer spending on Father’s Day on par with last year
Consumer spending this Father’s Day (June 19) is expected to total $20 billion, nearly on par with last year’s record-setting figure of $20.1 billion, according to the annual consumer survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Approximately 76% of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate Father’s Day.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $171.79 to honor their fathers and other important men in their lives. The amount nearly mirrors last year’s expected average spending of $174.10. Almost two-thirds of consumers (64%) surveyed by the NRF report having seen higher prices when shopping for Father’s Day gifts. Above all other gift categories, consumers plan to spend the most ($32.29) on a special outing such as a Father’s Day dinner or brunch, very similar to last year’s $29.37.

NRF data shows shoppers are also planning to spend nearly the same as last year in the popular gift categories of clothing ($26.62) and gift cards ($23.02). Forty percent of consumers plan to shop for Father’s Day gifts online while 34% plan to shop at department stores; specialty stores (greeting card/gift stores, electronics stores) and discount stores are tied at 22%.

RetailMeNot data points come from two surveys conducted by Alchemer on behalf of Ziff Media Group, in which U.S. adults were asked about their summer plans and predicted spending. One survey of 1,116 U.S. adults was performed April 6-7, 2022, and one survey of 1,137 U.S. adults was performed April 28-29, 2022.

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